Democrat wins governor election in Louisiana

20 Novembre, 2019, 03:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards prepares to speaks at an election night watch party in Baton Rouge La. on Oct. 12 2019

Edwards defeated Republican businessman Eddie Rispone by 774,469 votes to 734,128, a margin of just over 40,000 votes.

Edwards is the Deep South's only Democratic governor, and campaigned on his state's strengthening economy.

Meanwhile, Rispone, 70, wasn't among the top-tier candidates Republican leaders hoped would challenge Edwards.

Edwards topped Rispone by a large margin in a six-candidate primary last month, but failed to secure the 50 percent needed to win a second term outright. They are home to the two most populous cities (New Orleans and Baton Rouge) in the state. The month-long runoff campaign culminated, however, in an increase of almost 150,000 votes for the Democrat Edwards, while Rispone's vote total rose by only 50,000 compared to the combined vote for both Republicans in the primary.

UPDATE: With 100 percent of 1,508,597 votes counted, Edwards has won the gubernatorial election with 51.3 percent of the vote. The vote for Rispone, by contrast, was far below that for Trump three years ago: 738,124 compared to 1,178,638, a drop of almost 40 percent.

"Like with Kentucky - and indicative of the Trump era generally speaking - the election returns showed Republicans had key abatements of support in urban and suburban areas", Enten wrote on Sunday.

Edwards won Jefferson Parish, which comprises the major suburbs of New Orleans, by better than 17,000 votes, while Trump carried the parish (county) by 26,000 votes in 2016. Edwards won it with 57% of the vote on Saturday. But the 53-year-old Edwards, a former state lawmaker from rural Tangipahoa Parish, isn't exactly a national Democrat.

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In partly urban and partly suburban east Baton Rouge, Edwards took 66% of the vote, CNN reported. Rispone, was in second place with 27 percent, and close behind was U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham, 65, with 24 percent.

Republicans also lost control of the Virginia legislature, leaving the Democrats in full control of the state's government for the first time in a generation.

Mainstream media analysts have painted the Democrat victories in Kentucky and Louisiana as bellwether indicators of what may be in store for Republicans in the 2020 election.

The outcome is widely seen as the latest barometer on the value of Trump's endorsement for Republican candidates ahead the 2020 elections.

Louisiana has enjoyed a net increase of 21,000 jobs under Edward's watch, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6% to 4%.

Rispone poured more than $12 million of his own money into the race. He also campaigned for Rispone by calling into conservative radio stations on his behalf, criticizing Bel Edwards on Twitter and recording get-out-the-vote robocalls and videos.

Trump campaign officials have said that with the 2019 cycle behind him, the president will now focus his attention on his own fortunes in battleground states and they have boasted of his huge advantages over the Democratic field in fundraising and organizing. "You got to give me a big win, please", the president told voters at a campaign rally near Shreveport last Thursday. He denounced the Democrats as "crazed lunatics" for moving towards impeachment, and urged his supporters to "deliver a powerful rebuke to the socialists trying to demolish our democracy". As in Louisiana, Kentucky is a deeply conservative state (it voted for Trump by almost 30 points in 2016) and the president had campaigned aggressively for the Republican candidate.

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